DC Water Board Chairman and City Administrator Allen Lew added, "This project is a massive undertaking, but it will pay huge benefits as well. Today's celebration marks the beginning of an ambitious effort to improve the health of the Anacostia River."
DC Water's TBM was named " Lady Bird" after Claudia Alta " Lady Bird" Johnson, First Lady and wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson. She formed The Committee for a More Beautiful Capital, and encouraged her husband to declare the Potomac River "a national disgrace," which drew attention to the declining health of America's waterways and was a catalyst for the eventual Clean Water Act of 1972.
Starting from two deep shafts at Blue Plains, the Lady Bird TBM will tunnel 24,200 linear feet up the Potomac River and to the Anacostia River. Additional tunnels are also planned to reduce CSOs in the Potomac and Rock Creek sewersheds, although DC Water is also developing a green infrastructure pilot program.